Anyone building products for the public or handling product service should check out this blog post chronicling a woman's battle for appropriate customer service with a washing machine company—and how her public complaints to social networking sites got results. Her story is both hilarious and a great object lesson about the power of social media in the marketplace.
Every day, thousands of bloggers post about the minutiae of their lives, including their interactions with the products that your company builds. Some bloggers have hundreds, thousands or even hundreds of thousands of followers, and their stories carry weight in a way that no advertising campaign can-they are the judgment of the masses for the masses. Twitter, Facebook and blogs give the market a new outlet for complaints, accolades and general product feedback. An influential blogger can make or break a product. Think Oprah's Book Club, only on the internet-those books sell, baby!
If you’re not already monitoring what’s being said online about your product, service or company, you may wish to start. You can choose from a proliferation of free and paid tools that search social networks, groups, blogs, boards and other consumer-generated media (CGM) platforms for names or keywords associated with your product.
When you’re ready, you can start engaging in the conversation too. Participate in the networks and social media platforms relevant to your market or try a tool like GetSatisfaction.com, which provides a venue for dialogue between customers with questions or problems and other customers and company representatives.
At Arena, our marketing team monitors internet activity by setting Google and Twitter alerts and using web analytics tools. We also have a presence on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Feel free to check out what we’re doing as an example…just know that we’re still figuring it out too!